The other day I received an email from a friend describing how some ministry they had done 20-30 years ago had affected a follower of Christ for their ministry today. It reminds me of this verse in Matthew.
“And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”
We as believers love this verse! We love hearing about those who come to Christ, follow in baptism, are discipled are active in a local church, and minister using their gifts. Not only this, but multiply!
Sometimes we forget that in order to see people like this, we need to actually be SPREADING SEED. Some of those Gospel seeds are going to fall on good soil, sure; but most of the seed will fall upon hard hearts, closed minds, or the ones who think they know, but they don't.
Sometimes, even more discouraging, we see the seeds that fall upon ground that produce what we may perceive as growth, but in fact is not. These profess Christ, may even follow in baptism, but never really "pick up their cross" to follow Him. Our local churches provide plenty of evidence of this.
BUT...in order to see Matt 13:23 come to fruition, we must SPREAD SEED!!
Dr. Brock says we must have a passion that leads to compassion! When believers have a passion to see people who are apart from Christ come to Him, they automatically have compassion on them!
Matt 9:36 says Jesus looked out into the crowd and felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.
They are floundering. Grasping for whatever they think will make them happy.
Think about your context this Christmas week. What opportunities do you have to spread the Gospel seed to those you love OR those you'll never even see again? What kind of foundation do you want to lay today in order to have an email sent to you 20 years from now thanking you for sharing the gift of life?
Psalm 85 is a wonderful encouragement, especially during times of spiritual depletion. The Psalmist wrote of restoration, forgiveness, healing, and salvation.
Christy and I have a little car and the gas gage has digital bars indicating how much gasoline is in the tank. Between the two of us we drive that car a lot, so that means we spend a lot of time at the gas station filling it up. A common question at our house is, "how many bars does the car have?" The danger zone has been unofficially designated as "two bars." She left for work this morning and I said, "I FORGOT!!! The car has two bars! Sorry!!" At two bars, it's not quite empty, but getting there. (She likes to push it and brags the car can make it to Bowling Green-1.25 hours from our house-on two bars!)
At times we get depleted. Our spiritual energy drops to around "two bars." We still have some spiritual gas in the tank, but we know it won't be long before we are on the side of the road admitting we should have filled our spiritual tank.
When we first got married we had some friends who were poorer than us. :) They kept their car at "two bars" because that's all they could afford each time. I know Christians like this. They make a habit of just keeping enough in the spiritual gas tank that they can make it another week, always struggling, playing spiritual catch-up.
What does your spiritual gas tank look like this morning? Has it been at "two bars" for awhile? Maybe it's past "two bars" and on into the blinking light! Let me encourage you to read Ps. 85:8: I will listen to what God the Lord will say;
he promises peace to his people, his saints—
but let them not return to folly.
Fill up your spiritual gas tank. Take time each day to read, study, and meditate upon His Word. Pray for your own spiritual needs and the needs of others. You can run on "two bars," but a life of spiritual overflow is certainly more fulfilling than one of maintaince or catch-up!
Keep the bait in the water and keep fishing!!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.